WELLINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) - Following are some of the lead stories from New Zealand metropolitan newspapers on Thursday.
Stories may be taken from either the paper or Internet editions of the papers.
Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Govt plans $20m embassy upgrade: The Government has earmarked $20m to upgrade embassy and official residence in China, despite a halt on most capital expenditure within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Tsvangirai seeks end to Zimbabwe sanctions: New Zealand could lift sporting and travel sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe a decade ago with the promise of a free and fair election.
Monday holidays boost to Dunne: UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne's popularity stocks are on the rise again as New Zealanders get a step closer to weekend Anzac and Waitangi days being celebrated on a Monday.
Wakefield bid part of long-term strategy: Christchurch businessman and rich-lister Mark Stewart has been biding his time with Wakefield Health. He moved yesterday to take a controlling stake in the North Island private hospital operator four years after securing a near 20 per cent stake.
Company sniffing at West Coast oil deposits: Widespread Portfolios will spend a busy few weeks analysing data to help it decide if a hunt for significant oil and gas reserves on its permit near Lake Brunner is worthwhile.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD (www.nzherald.co.nz)
Kiwis fork out $3.19b on online shopping: Almost two million New Zealanders are expected to use the internet for shopping this year, with a total of $3.19 billion likely to be spent online.
Speaker names 15 who hold the cards: Speaker Lockwood Smith has buckled to pressure and named the lobbyists and other frequent visitors at Parliament who have security access cards.
Solar water heating may not be worth investment: Solar water heating may not be worth investing in because it is near-useless at crucial peak times, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says.
Nation's CEOs: Raise super age: The country's top chief executives have delivered Prime Minister John Key a clear message to "get real" about raising the age of eligibility for New Zealand Super.
NZ landlords buying up houses in US: New Zealand landlords are investing in residential property in the United States as rental returns outstrip what they can earn in New Zealand.
NZ liquor firm sale tipped within month: The boss of a local liquor firm engaged in acquisition talks with a United States company says the deal should be sealed within the next 30 days.